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Georgia Post-Game Quotes

January 2, 2012

Opening statement:
"First off, congratulations to Coach Dantonio and his staff and his players; they did a wonderful job. It was a great ballgame. Im sure everybody enjoyed it except for us at the end. I thought both teams show a lot of the reasons why they were divisional champions, a lot of great players, playmakers. Guys fought hard. Just really an outstanding effort, I thought, by both teams. Im definitely proud of our guys and the effort they gave. Its a tough pill to swallow any time you lose a game period. Of course, when you lose it in overtime I guess it hurts worse. I think they all hurt pretty bad."

On turnovers having an impact on the outcome:
"We talked about how good the defenses were, which they are both outstanding defenses. But that doesnt always predict a low scoring game. If you have turnovers, if you have big plays in the special teams, which there were, so thats why the score got up there, and then of course if you go into overtime theres a chance for more points to be scored too after regulation. Thats kind of the way football is. Turnovers, youve got to respect the ball. If you dont, youve got a good chance of getting beat."

On closing out the season with an Outback Bowl loss:
"I am really proud of our team. Im proud of our coaches and the effort they gave all year long. Its kind of an old story now, but we certainly were fighting a lot of adversity in the offseason and early on in the season going 0-2. For everybody to just keep staying together, keep believing and making a 10-win run. Ten wins was great, 11 would have been better today but we didnt get it. We came up short in the SEC championship game, which is obvious, and then played a much better football game here but just couldnt get it done. Like I told the seniors, Im very proud of them, very thankful for all their efforts and what they gave to the University of Georgia. I told them dont be a stranger and pray that the Lord will bless them as they go out into their lives. But I also told the rest of the guys Im excited about the future of this team and what we could become in 2012."

On choosing to pass in the red zone:
"There were some things that we liked in the passing game in the red zone. We thought there were some shots we thought we could make. We just thought they were the best plays to call at that moment."

On Outback Bowl MVP Brandon Boykin:
"He scored a touchdown as a back, he scored a touchdown as a punt returner and certainly played great defense. Hes a very dynamic football player and a great person, a guy who loves his team, loves Georgia and loves football. I know hes going to have a really good career. Im sure hell be a pretty high draft pick and have a great future."

On losing twice to finish the 2011 season:
"Its sad when you lose. You hate to lose. Right this minute were definitely not too thrilled. In time this one will heal, well get back on the road recruiting and our guys will take a little bit of a break and get back in town, go to school and get prepared for the next one. Thats just the way life is in football. But I still think that our guys had a good year, not a great year."

On kicker Blair Walsh missing two field goals:
"Walsh is a very talented guy. Hes a guy that I still have faith in. I think hell end up being a good pro. Im just sad that it ended the way it did. I didnt see the last one. It looked like a low-trajectory kick but I couldnt really tell for sure if it had anything to do with the snap. I dont think it did. Again, I hate to make those calls without looking at the tape again or even asking those guys what might have happened. The one that he was trying to kick for the winner in the first overtime, I know that snap was just not as pretty as it could be, so the timing on it I think got disrupted just a bit. But youve still got to make them, get it on the ground and kick it."

On quarterback Aaron Murrays future:
"I think Aarons future is very bright. Hes one of the best quarterbacks in the country in my mind and hell be one of the better quarterbacks who will be returning. I think that hes a guy that weve got an awful lot of faith in. Hes human; hes going to make mistakes. Again, well look at the film before I kind of make some judgment on what happened on a couple of those picks. Hes been making a lot of plays for us all year long. We know that weve got a really good quarterback, a good leader, a good person as the face of our program offensively and really throughout our program so were fortunate."

Outback Bowl MVP Brandon Boykin

On scoring in all three phases of the game:
"Ive never scored offense, defense and special teams. Ive scored on offense a couple games, special teams a couple times throughout my career. To come out today and have a performance like I did, it was great. But I definitely wish we could have come out with that w to end my career. Theres nothing we can do about it. Hats off to Michigan State for doing a great job."

On the play that produced a safety in the first quarter:
"What happened is we were in cover four and the slot came over so I motioned up to guard my guy and he went to block the opposing corner and I was basically wide open and free to hit him in the backfield and I definitely tried to take advantage of it. He ended up hitting me in my stomach right in my sternum and knocked the breath out of me so thats why I was on the ground for a while."

On winning the MVP in a losing effort:
"I guess thats an accomplishment. I can definitely attribute a lot of this to my teammates. We were in punt safe when I returned that punt. I told them if you can just hold your guy for three seconds and let me get a hole Ill try to do what I can do."

On his last game as a Bulldog:
"It hasnt really hit me yet to be honest. Ive just been trying to think about that the whole week just leading up to today, going into pregame meal I was like, this is my last pregame meal, last chapel with the guys. But it really hasnt set in yet. Im sure after a couple of days after I get back home and get settled down Ill probably start crying to be honest."

On whether he would trade his two touchdowns for an Outback Bowl victory:
"Absolutely, any day. Getting that victory, getting that w to end a career, I mean theres nothing like it. Of course Im upset right now that we lost. Ill never get to play a college game again. Without a doubt Id take away my performance if we can get a victory."

On his Outback Bowl record 92-yard punt return for a touchdown:
"I told Coach Richt and Coach McClendon that I can catch it and I can make something happen. They said that they trusted me. If I had enough room I could take it. They kicked it I think to like the three yard line. I just caught it and my guys tried to create a wall on the other side. I saw a crease where I could cut it up and I think the center was trying to tackle me. I avoided him and then people did a great job of just finding blocks."

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On whether he would agree that it was a good but not great year:
"I would definitely agree with that, especially with the talent we have I think we could have pulled out a couple more wins. But were a young team and we would have really like to win this game. We have to look forward. Were excited about the future, and the fans are excited about the future. We just have to use this game as motivation for next season and work hard."

After his two years as QB, how excited is he to take that into his junior year:
"Im very excited. I took some strides forward this year but there is still a lot of improvement left to do. Ill go back and re-watch all of the film and talk to coach (quarterbacks coach Mike) Bobo and figure exactly what I need to work on this off season, work on that and hopefully make improvements."

On whether this loss is going to hurt just a little more:
"It will, but we obviously had our opportunities to win this game, but Michigan State did a great job of not giving in and fighting all the way so you have to give them credit. It is going to sting but we have to just put it behind us and have a great offseason."

On whether Georgia got a little conservative in the first overtime session:
"No, I dont think we did. Blair (Walsh) is one of the best in the league and you had to put your faith in him. Our coaches do and I know our team does. Sometimes you miss them and sometimes you make them, and he just barely missed it."

On Tavarres Kings performance:
"TK had a great game for us today. He went out and got balls and got some great separation for us while also making some great plays during the game."

On the 80-yard touchdown play:
"He (Tavarres King) did a great job turning the safety around. The guy just flew out turned his hips and it was a done deal. I just had to throw the ball far enough for him to run under it."

On what he needs to improve on:
"I think I need to improve my accuracy. Sometimes this season I wasnt as accurate as I could have been so thats something I definitely need to work on in the offseason."

On whether the loss is worse since its in Tampa:
"Its the same. A loss is a loss. I hate to lose like everyone else, but well get over it and just get back to work."

Linebacker Jarvis Jones

On the Spartans Outback Bowl victory over the Bulldogs:
"The made the plays at the end of the game that really stood out and obviously gave them the win."

On game coming down to the kicker:
"There is a lot of pressure on him. When you are under pressure like that its hard. I take my hat off to Blair. We should have won the game earlier."

What do you take away from this game?
"We just have to go into the off season and get everybody on the same page, offense, defense, special teams, and continue to get better... get stronger, faster and learn what we are supposed to do."

On potential players leaving for the NFL:
"Well for me the stage is already set. I did say in the locker room, let this be some motivation for us in the off season. Everybody has to make their own decision and Ill stand with them whatever that decision is and keep rolling. If somebody leaves other players will need to step up."

Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham

On the future of the Bulldogs:
"Im excited about the future. I think weve obviously made progress. I just think that to get where we want to get, that we have to understand that we need to finish the game."

On the pressure that Georgia put on Michigan State defensively:
"Jarvis (OLB Jarvis Jones) had to play another position because of our depth. He played our SAM LB position a little bit more and he rushed, but he wasnt always playing the same position that he has been. And that was because of our linebacker situation from a depth standpoint."

On what hes taking away from this season:
"I think that were taking away that weve improved, that we have guys playing the right way and that were on the upside. When you look at it, we were able to get to the SEC Championship and then to a big bowl game. But, we didnt with either of those so were not there yet and that becomes the next step. Everything doesnt happen overnight, and getting our team to play the way we have this year didnt come overnight. Now that weve gotten to this point, we need to look at the next thing, and what we need to do to get better at the next situation. The more you win, the higher the stakes are to win, and the better the opponents become, your margin for error is smaller and your attention to details has to increase. You dont want to play tight, but you have to understand that you have to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way."

FLK Tavarres King

On the mindset for Georgia after two losses at the end of the season:
"Its rough. Every time you lose a game you think about it until you play another one, and we dont play another one for over 200 days. So its going to be on our minds and in the back of our heads. Its going to be rough, but well shake it, continue to move forward and have a great offseason."

On what Georgia did right against Michigan State:
"I think we came out with a lot of energy in the first half and executed the game plan pretty good and had a feel for what they were doing defensively. I just felt like we executed in the first half. In the second half I told the guys lets put this one away with the first drive and then we turned the ball over. Any time you have a game like this where you turn the ball over, have miscues throwing to the receivers, that hurts you."

On whether the receiving record means anything to him because of the loss:
"No, it doesnt mean anything to me. Its irrelevant since we didnt get the win."

Kicker Blair Walsh

On whether he was surprised that they called his name on third down:
"No, thats what you want to do in case of a bad snap you can fall on the ball, but they suspect youll make the field goal, it just didnt happen."

On whether he puts more pressure on himself during overtime situations:
"No, you cant take it that way, you try to go out there and take it like any other kick. We just didnt execute it well and make it doable."

On whether they were good snaps:
"Yeah, it looked like it; I just didnt hit it the way I wanted to hit it."

On whether he thought he had a rough year:
"You can say that I had a tough year in many aspects, and thats ok. But I work hard and I think that is the most frustrating thing is that my work ethic really didnt match the results this year, but hopefully I will get another chance at the next level to prove myself."

On the kick during the first overtime:
"I just missed it a little bit to the right. I dont know what made me pull it that way."

On setting the SEC scoring record:
"Its cool to set it, but Id trade all the points I scored to have three points to win the game, and I mean that, it sucks."